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Frequently Asked General Questions

How long should my HVAC system last

Most people pay top dollar for the investment in their Vancouver Island Homes. The same is true for your heating and cooling systems. It is a major investment. You want to have the best that your budget can afford, because it will mean comfort and convenience for the family. You also expect that a quality investment will last for a long time. One of the things uppermost in your mind when you’re considering a heating and cooling system is how long will the system life expectancy be?

A heating/cooling system is an electrical machine. It has many moving parts. That is why it needs regular inspection and maintenance. Therefore, if you want your equipment to last and extend your Heating/Cooling Systems life expectancy, then you must know and do some essential things.

Going back to the question of how long your system will last, here’s a projection for a brand-new heating and cooling system:

* Without any maintenance: 10-15 years
* With some maintenance: 15 to 20 years (assuming at least 1 to 2 parts are regularly maintained)
* With average maintenance: 20 to 25 years (at least 2 to 3 parts are regularly maintained)
* High maintenance: more than 25 years (4 parts maintained)

Do you provide free estimate on repairs?

Yes! Our estimates are always free and there is never any pressure to buy. Our Estimator has 40 years in the industry and creates a solution for every situation. Get the inside scoop on heating replacement from our pros. Everything we do at Cedar Coast Heating and Mechanical Inc. is about making things affordable, easy, fast, efficient, and reliable for you as a homeowner, or property manager.

What is the difference between a free estimate and diagnostic?

A free estimate is for the homeowner that knows they want to upgrade to a more efficient unit or more eco-friendly upgrade and requires a visit from our technician to assess and design. A diagnostic service is for a tech to come and diagnose the system you already have and to see if we can give a second opinion on an expensive repair or to see if we can maintain the lifespan of the system a few more months or years before replacement. Estimates are free and diagnostic site visits are chargeable.

How much is your diagnostic fee and what does it cover?

Our diagnostic fees are based on the parts and equipment needed to diagnose the problem as well as time. Our techs will give you pricing on the spot and go over any necessary repairs before performing the work. Some instances require sourcing parts, and acquire timelines due to shipping. We will report via proper written estimate, so you have all the pricing and facts to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Mechanical Questions

What is the life expectancy of my HVAC system?

Whether you’re a new homeowner buying your first HVAC system or a seasoned homeowner, there are many important things to know before installing a new HVAC system. When choosing a new furnace, heat pump, and/or air conditioning system, it’s important to hire a professional with years of experience and references. In addition to engineering modifications to existing mechanical systems, your HVAC contractor will be able to help you select the best system for your home, taking into account the size and characteristics of your home, as well as comfort and budget concerns.

Why Should I care about the Size, Capacity and type of new heating system?

One of the first things you should check is the heating and cooling capacity of any new HVAC system. Ask the HVAC technician about the reviews of the system and whether or not they meet the minimum requirements and are properly sized. Heating system capacity is measured by BTU (British Thermal Unit), which is equal to the amount of heat needed to raise a pound of water by 1-degree F. While input capacity measures the amount of gas burned (not taking into account losses due to combustion), output capacity is how much usable heat is generated. When looking at BTU ratings, make sure you know whether it is input or output. Newer units have smaller input BTU rating since they are more efficient at generating more heat and thus more BTU output. Generally, the higher the BTU rating, the greater the heating capacity. Additionally, cubic feet per minute (CFM), how many cubic feet of air can pass by a fixed point per minute, is essential for choosing the right capacity for your HVAC system. Luckily, choosing the right size, capacity, and type of HVAC system is left up to your HVAC contractor. Complicated measurements are used, such as ACCA’s Manual J requirements for properly sizing a unit. Too big and you’ll waste a lot of money and energy; too small, and you’ll overwork your system without ever feeling completely comfortable. If another contractor tries to size your new HVAC system based on square footage alone, they are doing it wrong. Make sure your HVAC technician fully inspects the home prior to sizing a new system. They should never simply replace the existing system with a similarly sized one.

Why is Cooling size and type important ?

Check the capacity of your new air conditioner before purchase so that you can choose the best air conditioner for your home. Instead of British Thermal Unit (BTU), air conditioners’ cooling capacity is measured by the Ton. 1 Ton is equal to about 12,000 British Thermal Unit Per Hour (BTUh). As with your heating systems, it’s important to choose cooling capacity based on the size and needs of your home. By consulting with a licensed and experienced technician, you can choose an air conditioner to provide the right amount of cooling in all areas of your home.

Why is Energy Efficiency such a big factor these days?

Heaters and air conditioners consume a significant amount of energy. In fact, around half of our home’s energy use goes toward heating and cooling our home. Therefore, it’s important to check the energy consumption of your existing system or any new system before purchase. This will help you to save energy and money across your home. A furnace’s heating efficiency is measured by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The higher the AFUE number, the more efficient the furnace. An air conditioner, on the other hand, uses Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) to measure its energy efficiency. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the air conditioner. Heat pumps use a rating very similar to SEER, called the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). This number measures the heating portion of the heat pump. Again, the higher the HSPF number, the more efficient the unit. In order for your new HVAC system to reach the optimum efficiency printed on its EnergyGuide Label, a professional contractor will need to properly install it. The energy efficiency ratings mean very little if the unit is improperly installed. This is our Trade - we are not some other trade trying to be heating contractors. You wouldn't take you dog your family doctor, so why trust your heating and cooling system to an electrician or Plumber? These are not the same trades although many aspects overlap, leave it to the heating professional.

Why should system noise be such a consideration?

Make sure your new HVAC system isn’t creating unnecessary disturbances around your house. Although the HVAC industry has made great strides to reduce operating sound, check the noise levels of the system before you make a decision. Ask the manufacturer and your installer about noise levels, measured in decibels (db).

Why is maintenance and Air Quality Important?

Maintenance of heating systems and air conditioners is crucial for them to work properly for a long period of time. Before you install a new HVAC system, keep in mind that you will need to regularly maintain the unit to keep your manufacturer’s warranties in effect. Neglecting regular maintenance will void almost all system warranties. And don’t forget to change your air filter every 30-60 days! Additionally, if indoor air quality (IAQ) is a problem in your home, ask your technician about effective ways to improve the air quality. Various IAQ solutions are available, such as thicker air filters, air purification systems, humidification control, and ventilation products. Discuss your IAQ concerns with your contractor before any work begins.

How Much Does a New HVAC System Cost?

The best way to find out how much a new heating and/or cooling system will cost is to call a professional, not some dude who drives around in his truck doing, electrical, plumbing and heating, or god knows what else, and may not be around after the first couple years to see you through. A professional company like Cedar Coast Heating and Mechanical will be able to send a technician to your home and provide a proper estimate. Why does a new installation require and experienced technician? Your new HVAC unit requires engineering and working with components of the older system, such as ductwork, wiring, ventilation, and controls. It’s important to hire an experienced HVAC company to make sure everything works in concert. Can you give me an estimate for new heating equipment over the phone? While it would be impossible to give you an estimate without inspecting your home and current system. We try to supply the best product at the best prices and pride ourselves on being very competitive amongst our contemporaries.

What is the life expectancy of my HVAC system?

In general, a good furnace typically lasts about 20 to 25 years. Great maintenance, including regular inspection by our heating and cooling system experts, can extend the life of a furnace by a few years. Furnaces that have reached the end of their useful life can cause big spikes in your power bill. They can also pose a safety risk. Regardless of how old your furnace is, these warning signs are good indicators that a replacement is due.

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